By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
The Bowling Green Board of Education was rich with good news Tuesday evening. The board members learned the district’s finances have taken a turn for the better. They voted to hire the varsity football coach as the athletic director. And they handed out awards for everything from art and math to clean kitchens.
Adam Dirk Conner, high school math teacher and varsity football coach, was hired as the athletic director with a salary of $72,500.
Conner said after the meeting that he plans to continue coaching football. His goals as athletic director include supporting the coaches and athletes, plus work toward improving the athletic facilities.
Conner said he also supports drug testing of athletes, which the board has discussed. “I’m all in favor of it,” he said.
District Treasurer Rhonda Melchi presented the district’s five-year forecast – with some good news.
“We’re more confident our state funding will be more stable,” Melchi said.
Meanwhile, the district saw its expenditures drop as new people were hired at lower rates than retiring teachers, fewer employees were on family insurance, and the worker’s compensation expenses were lower than expected.
Melchi said she is still projecting a deficit in 2020, “but it’s not near as big,” she said.
“We’ve done a good job managing taxpayers’ dollars,” Scruci said after the meeting. “We’re happy where we are,” though nothing is certain until after the state budget is done.
Melchi also presented numbers to the board about the loss seen when students living in the district go to school elsewhere. The statistics showed $283,677 leaving the district for students with special needs, $258,000 for students with autism, $464,594 for community school transfers, and $590,160 for students lost to other districts through open enrollment.
While losing $1.6 million, the district does get to keep $498,946 through the state’s formula. That leaves local taxpayers footing the bill for the lost funding.
“We plan so we can cover our expenses,” Melchi said.
In other business, Scruci recognized local businesses that support the schools. “Good schools can’t exist without the community and business partners,” he said.
Honored were Grounds for Thought, Copy Shop, Biggby Coffee, and Mike Marsh.
“If you don’t have good schools, my dad always said, you don’t have a town,” Marsh said.
Members of Leadership BG attended the meeting, since the annual community project chosen by the group was Bobcat Basics, which supplies basic toiletry and school work items for students. The Leadership BG members raised $1,500 for the project.
PACE teacher Laura Weaver recognized gifted students who did well in the Perennial Math Competition. (A story and photos will appear at a later date.)
Art students were recognized for winning competitions, including Lauren Goberman, Angel Lozano, Sasha Meade, Gracelyn Hartman, Sophia Nelson and Annie Urban.
Sue Chandler, director of food services, and staff members were recognized for earning a “Clean Plate Award” from the Wood County Health District for having clean cafeteria operations. The district serves more than 1,900 meals a day in its five buildings.
Chandler is retiring after working with the district since 2001.
“She’s been a team player, always willing to pitch in,” Scruci said. “We’re sorry to see you go.”
The board hired Abigail Foreman as the new food service director. They also voted to increase the prices of school lunches for students by 5 cents, as required by Senate Bill 210.
They also voted to hire Taylor Florea to teach sixth grade; Haley Glandorff to teach kindergarten; Amanda McBride as second guidance counselor; Miranda Scholl as secondary intervention specialist; and Alyssa Santacroce as secondary guidance counselor.